Posted by: kathyhugs | February 4, 2008

Grand Jury

Well the news has finally leaked that the Grand Jury will be meeting this week. We have known for a few weeks but have kept quiet so we are not bothered by the media. Now that it has hit the newspaper, it is just a matter of time.

How are we handling this? To say that I am not anxious would be a lie. The Prosecuting attorney, Lynn Grimshaw, has been wonderful to us and we have complete confidence in his judgement. I would ask that if you are reading this that you pray for Lynn. He has kept in contact with us and he has answered any questions we have had. Please pray that God’s will is very evident and that we can keep holding on to the strength we have received from God. I will have friends over our house this week to keep me company as we wait to hear any news. The outcome is in God’s hand and we have complete faith and trust. My hardest thing is that I have not been sleeping well which make my emotions very fragile at times. Knowing that perfect strangers will be hearing all of the details of Tonia’s death is very uncomfortable for me. Will they understand that she was a beautiful daughter? Will they understand that she loved to sing? I know that they are only deciding if there is enough evidence to move forward with the legal proceedings. I can’t imagine hearing all of this stuff. I will be praying for the people on this grand jury.

This week will be a very hard week but I have such great friends. They have sent us emails and they have surrounded us with their love and prayers. Rick, Sean and I are so very grateful that we have such amazing people in our lives! Thank you!

I received an email that I need to remember through everything: Tonia has already won! She is in Heaven with her heavenly father celebrating. It is only the people she has left behind who have to deal with this, but at some point I will be joining her in Heaven. The victory will be ours!

To do a quick legal lesson: the purpose of the Grand Jury is to hear the evidence from the Prosecuting Attorney. The jurors hear from the prosecutor and any witnesses he brings in. They then have time to deliberate. They can make several decisions: 1. they accept the charges that the Prosecutor accepts based upon the evidence they hear, 2. they decide that the evidence does not support the charge suggested and they suggest a different charge or 3. they decide that the evidence does not support any charges at this time. At that point the prosecutor has to make some decisions whether to move forward with the grand jury’s decision or to look for more evidence. Once the Prosecutor hears from the jury a letter of indictment will be drafted. This letter must be signed by the foreman of the jury agreeing to the charges and then the judge needs to sign the letter and then an arrest warrant will be obtained.

After the arrest has been made, an arraignment hearing will be scheduled. At this hearing a plea of guilty or not guilty is stated. Bail will be negotiated and depending upon that decision a trial date may or may not be assigned. Then there will be more time as both sides prepare their cases, their witness list and any depositions that need to happen. The trial may or may not happen on the original date depending upon any continuances or negotiations. That is what we will be needing to deal with over the next months and even years.

Your prayers are helping us to get through all of this stuff. I can’t even imagine trying to handle this without our friends and family! Thank you for being there for us!

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